Teams are inquiring about A.J. Pierzynski’s availability and general manager Ken Williams replied “yes” yesterday when asked if he’s losing patience with the White Sox. So what does manager Ozzie Guillen say to all of that?
Hey, I don’t blame him. … The expectations we have with this club is very high. We had a ball club better than what we showed. And we have better hitters than what we showed. … Being patient is one thing I’m not very good at and Kenny is very strong with the way he makes moves and attacks the club, the way he does his business. He wants to win. …
I don’t care about me. That’s his job. With the coaches, one thing about it, we do everything we can to make those guys better. I know it. I fired three coaches myself because I don’t think they’re on the same page we are. We’re going to blame somebody, I do. If he wants to blow this ball club away, that’s his call. … We compete, we’re just not winning games. Is it about me? …
I think I do what I can do every day to make this ball club work. It’s something I believe if this thing don’t work, I’m not a princess or an icon or not that great. If the team don’t work the way it [should] be working, I’ll be the first one to be blamed. That’s the way this thing works in baseball or any sport. You don’t produce, it’s easy to fire one guy or two or three guys than 25.
As a Twins fan few things please me more than the White Sox struggling, but as a baseball fan I’m hoping Guillen doesn’t become the scapegoat. He’s far too entertaining.
In 2016, Red Sox starter Rick Porcello narrowly and controversially eked ahead of then-Tigers starter Justin Verlander in Cy Young Award balloting, winning on points 137 to 132. Verlander was not included at all in the top-five of two ballots, both coincidentally belonging to writers from the Tampa Bay chapter, MLB.com’s Bill Chastain and Fred Goodall of the Associated Press. Verlander had more first-place votes than Porcello, but being left out of the top-five on two ballots was the difference maker.
In the aftermath, Verlander’s then-fiancée Kate Upton fired off some angry tweets, as did Justin’s brother Ben.
Verlander was again in the running for the 2018 AL Cy Young Award. He again finished in second place, this time behind Blake Snell of the Rays. Snell had 17 first-place votes and 169 total points to Verlander’s 13 and 154. There weren’t any ballots that made a big difference like in 2016, but there were two odd ballots from the Tampa Bay chapter again.
If a chapter doesn’t have enough eligible voters, a voter from another chapter is chosen to represent that city. This year, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News was a replacement voter along with Mark Didtler, a freelancer for the Associated Press. Both writers voted for Snell in first place, reasonably. But neither writer put Verlander second, less reasonably, putting Corey Kluber there instead. Madden actually had Verlander fourth behind Athletics reliever Blake Treinen. Didtler had Treinen in fifth place. Two other writers had Verlander in third place: George A. King III of the New York Post and Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. The other 26 had Verlander in first or second place.
Voting Kluber ahead of Verlander doesn’t make any sense, especially we finally live in a world where a pitcher’s win-loss record isn’t valued highly. Kluber had 20 wins to Verlander’s 16 and pitched one more inning. In every other area, Verlander was better. ERA? Verlander led 2.52 to 2.89. Strikeouts? Verlander led 290 to 222. Strikeout rate? Verlander led 34.8% to 26.4%. Opponent batting average? Verlander led .198 to .222. FIP and xFIP? Verlander led both 2.78 and 3.03 to 3.12 and 3.08, respectively. And while Treinen had an excellent year, Verlander pitched 134 more innings, which is significant.
Upton had another tweet for the occasion: